Alumni Stories. Steven Mayer

Alumni Stories: Steve Mayer '72

I had no idea I would study or major in religion before taking a survey course to fulfill distributive requirements my freshman year. My only previous exposure was the requisite Sunday school and Bar Mitzvah training. To this day, I feel the need to explain to people that it wasn't preparation to become a rabbi! But it did expose me to the thinking of Kierkegaard, Sartre and Spinoza, to the quest for the historical Jesus and the contrast between Purusha and Prakriti in Hinduism. I had some inspiring professors and found it to be an exciting field of study. It opened my mind to a lot of the world, including philosophy, anthropology, art history and literature. At the time, there was a lot of experimenting with Eastern religions; it gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for our own Western traditions. I hit the job market in 1973 in the midst of our first oil embargo-induced recession. I found myself in San Francisco and eventually landed a job in business-to-business publishing. For the past 35 years I've been publishing magazines for the restaurant industry.